Where to Meet Santa this Christmas Season

Santa Claus
Santa Claus
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For a traditional picture with Santa at the mall, Mint Hill residents have three solid choices.

Santa is at South Park Mall now through 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve. Hours vary depending on the day. If you want to skip the lines, you can book an appointment at www.simon.noerrsanta.com. A $10 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve an appointment, but the $10 fee can be put toward the purchase of a Santa photo package.

If you’d like to do more than sit with Santa and give him your holiday wish list, consider booking an “Adventure to Santa” at North Lake Mall. Adventure to Santa combines the tradition of meeting Santa with “technological wizardry” to create an “immersive holiday experience.” You can reserve a time and pre-purchase a photo package, which ranges in price from $35-$75 depending on date and group size. Reservations are available for groups of 1-8; groups of 7 or less may be grouped with another family for the cinematic ride experience but will have an opportunity to meet Santa privately. You can book your visit or learn more at www.dreamplaceexperience.com.

If you’re looking for a great bargain, consider visiting Santa at Bass Pro Shops of Concord Mills. Bass Pro Shops not only offers free visits with Santa but includes a free 4×6 photo with Santa and a free personalized digital Christmas card. Mondays through Thursdays through December 15, you can even receive a free wooden picture frame while supplies last. Bass Pro Shops features many activities to entertain your children like arts and crafts, test-driving remote-controlled trucks, building with lincoln logs, and shooting foam toys or lasers in the arcade. From December 4-22, you can take a free photo with Santa between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm Monday through Saturday and from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sundays. December 23, you can visit with Santa from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, and from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve. Free games and activities are available all day; times for arts and crafts vary. Learn more at www.basspro.com.

If you’d rather avoid a trip to the mall, you have a few upcoming options to meet Santa.

On Saturday, December 10, and Saturday, December 17, you can have breakfast with Santa at the Matthews Community Center. The event offers two different seatings at 9:00 am and 10:45 am. Tickets are available at the Matthews Community Center for $5.00. The event is geared toward ages 2-8 and includes breakfast, a holiday craft, and a photo with Santa.

On Friday, December 9, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will visit Queen’s Grant Community School’s Mistletoe Madness. The event will run from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm and will include free visits with the Clauses, a craft fair, and a “kids shop” where children can buy inexpensive trinkets.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience this Christmas, consider swimming with Santa at Ray’s Splash Planet on Friday, December 16, from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. You’ll be able to swim with Santa and take photos, though you’ll need to bring your own camera; no professional photos are offered. General admission prices for Ray’s Splash Planet are $6.00 per child (17 and under) or senior (55 and older) for Mecklenburg County residents and $8.00 for non-residents. Adults residents (ages 18-54) are $8.00, non-residents $11.00. Infants under one year old are free. Ray’s also offers a “dry ticket” for non swimmers: $3.00 for Mecklenburg County residents and $5.00 for non-residents.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com